Smart interaction between proteins

Very little was known till now about DNA repair by homologous recombination, which is fundamental for human health. Now an ETH research group has for the first time isolated and studied all the key proteins involved in this ...

Molecular sensor scouts DNA damage and supervises repair

In the time it takes you to read this sentence, every cell in your body suffers some form of DNA damage. Without vigilant repair, cancer would run rampant, and now scientists at the University of Pittsburgh have gotten a ...

Neutral evolution shapes lifespan and aging

Different African killifish species vary extensively in their lifespans—from just a few months to several years. Scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Biology of Ageing in Cologne investigated how different lifespans ...

Researchers clock DNA's recovery time after chemotherapy

In the time it takes for an Amazon Prime delivery to arrive, cells damaged by chemotherapy can almost completely fix their most important DNA. That is the case in the livers of mice at least, according to a new study.

A new mechanism for accessing damaged DNA

UV light damages the DNA of skin cells, which can lead to skin cancer. But this process is counteracted by DNA repair machinery, acting as a molecular sunscreen. It has been unclear, however, how repair proteins work on DNA ...

Researchers create most complete model of complex protein machinery

Environmental conditions, lifestyle choices, chemical exposure, and foodborne and airborne pathogens are among the external factors that can cause disease. In contrast, internal genetic factors can be responsible for the ...

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DNA repair

DNA repair refers to a collection of processes by which a cell identifies and corrects damage to the DNA molecules that encode its genome. In human cells, both normal metabolic activities and environmental factors such as UV light and Radiation can cause DNA damage, resulting in as many as 1 million individual molecular lesions per cell per day. Many of these lesions cause structural damage to the DNA molecule and can alter or eliminate the cell's ability to transcribe the gene that the affected DNA encodes. Other lesions induce potentially harmful mutations in the cell's genome, which affect the survival of its daughter cells after it undergoes mitosis. Consequently, the DNA repair process is constantly active as it responds to damage in the DNA structure.

The rate of DNA repair is dependent on many factors, including the cell type, the age of the cell, and the extracellular environment. A cell that has accumulated a large amount of DNA damage, or one that no longer effectively repairs damage incurred to its DNA, can enter one of three possible states:

The DNA repair ability of a cell is vital to the integrity of its genome and thus to its normal functioning and that of the organism. Many genes that were initially shown to influence lifespan have turned out to be involved in DNA damage repair and protection. Failure to correct molecular lesions in cells that form gametes can introduce mutations into the genomes of the offspring and thus influence the rate of evolution.

This text uses material from Wikipedia, licensed under CC BY-SA